Updated February 10, 2019 by Christopher Thomas

The 10 Best Gaming VR Headsets

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Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

Since the initial publication of this wiki in November of 2016, we've made 19 edits to this page. Virtual reality is among the most rapidly advancing fields of technology, and one primary reason is its entertainment value. Even better than your own private movie screening, interactive VR delivers more thrilling and immersive gaming than has ever been possible before. One of these top-rate headsets will put you on the path to fun, no matter how seriously you take your games. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best gaming vr headset on Amazon.

10. Merge Goggles

9. Acer Mixed Reality

8. Vive Pro

7. Samsung Gear

6. Oculus Go

5. Pansonite SB

4. PlayStation VR

3. Samsung HMD Odyssey

2. Oculus Rift

1. HTC Vive

The History Of Games

At one point, that meant an animal bladder and maybe a stick.

Human beings have made tremendous accomplishments throughout history in the name of entertainment. The earliest sports developed significant cultural meaning for those who played. Archaeologists have unearthed board games in the tombs of ancient rulers. Playing games has always been a part of individual and social development for nearly every child growing up. And no matter how busy we get or how old we are, there's absolutely no reason why we have to stop such a fun activity.

We're apt to apply the newest and most cutting-edge machinery to the purpose of our amusement. At one point, that meant an animal bladder and maybe a stick. Games of the board and card varieties have similarly been around for hundreds and thousands of years in various iterations.

It's only been since the 1970s that we've played games using machines that process digital data — also known as computers. The original arcade games used (at the time) powerful 8-bit processors, and they were large, heavy, expensive, high-maintenance, and so not ideal for home use.

Around the same time, home computer gaming also began its lowly birth when friends across the world took to the classic Pong console in the comfort of their own basements for ultimate bragging rights. The boom in home computing over the next decade brought consumers various options for electronic entertainment in machines like the Apple II and the Atari 2600.

Over time, consoles continued to advance, each successive generation ushering in a new level of graphics, control, and playability. Meanwhile, PCs began their rise to the top as bastions of data processing, social interaction, and — you guessed it — electronic gaming. Entire industries have arisen around gaming, not the least of which is the development of powerful hardware and software to paint vivid, 3-D images. Video game playing itself is now an actual professional sport, with some e-sports players making greater salaries than minor league baseball players.

So, it's time we took gaming seriously.

The Pursuit Of Happiness

And why shouldn't video games be an important part of our lives? There's nothing inherently wrong with playing video games, that is, as long as your homework gets done first. And the benefits of all types of games has been apparent for as long as they've been played. Even in early society, games served many purposes other than just passing otherwise boring hours.

Board games of antiquity often contained moral teachings and ethical tests to help hone one's power of judgment.

The physical benefits of early games helped keep the whole tribe in peak condition for the hunt. Athletic and strategic competitions were and are still used to help train warriors for combat situations. Board games of antiquity often contained moral teachings and ethical tests to help hone one's power of judgment. And playing with human beings increases our social skills and helps us bond with others.

Video games, in particular, have their own benefits. Increased hand-eye coordination is the most obvious, but it goes far deeper than that. They've been linked to the treatment of pain and even depression. There's actually evidence that playing action games trains your vision and helps with critical tasks like night-time driving. A lot of today's games involve extensive physical movement and can encourage athletic pursuits outside of the living room.

Of course, one wouldn't associate Call of Duty with such traditions as the ancient Egyptian Senet or the always popular ball-in-a-cup. In fact, one of today's most innovative electronic developments truly could not seem farther from the games of years past. It's called virtual reality, and it has forever changed the gaming landscape.

The immersion that virtual reality units allow is second to none. As a result, VR is showing never-before-seen promise with therapy patients like ill children and PTSD sufferers. Businesses are also taking advantage of the technology for tasks like recruitment, training, and property purchasing. But most people will experience the wonders of virtual reality via their home computer or console.

A Whole New World

As with any high-end electronic, VR gaming headsets present a wide range of selections with varying features and build quality. Some use a video feed from your computer and others use your phone itself as the screen. Other units are self-contained, letting you dive into a fantastic 3-D world without being tied to a device. Mobile models will be less expensive, and you'll have to make sure that your phone will work with the exact headset you choose. And there are countless interactive videos on the internet that these headsets will help you enjoy.

So make sure you have a clear area with a clean, safe floor where you won't trip and fall back into reality when you're supposed to be battling hordes of zombies.

High-end VR units will typically connect to your home computer and contain various cameras and sensors as well as a top-of-the-line video display. A model's physical configuration and weight are definitely important considerations when making sure you'll be comfortable. If a headset is heavy, or isn't shaped right, or if the image appears blurry, you certainly won't end up wearing it for very long. So, how it makes your head and eyes feel is of utmost importance.

The best VR units capture your body movement through multiple sensors, so the motions you make with your body will be well-represented in the game. Some include integrated speakers and microphones, letting you converse with your teammates and the AI effortlessly.

You will be moving around during this experience, while not paying much attention to the real world. So make sure you have a clear area with a clean, safe floor where you won't trip and fall back into reality when you're supposed to be battling hordes of zombies. Be wary of motion sickness, too, which is a common problem for those new to VR. If you get dizzy, just take a break.

Always remember those breaks, whether for your eye health, to use the bathroom, to eat food, or simply to let your family know that you're still alive. You're just busy living in a virtual reality.

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Christopher Thomas
Last updated on February 10, 2019 by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.


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